Armed Forces of the Philippines - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Armed Forces of the Philippines

ARTICLE FINDER

Can PH defend itself without U.S. help? We can, we will, we should – AFP

Feb 27, 2020 - 9:34 PM

The die is cast, says the military

TREATY ALLIES. Filipino and American soldiers during the annual Balikatan joint military exercises. Rappler file photo

Duterte to offer 'millions' as prize in next military drill contest

Feb 25, 2020 - 11:44 PM

The President reiterates an order for daily military drills in public, which he says will give people a sense of security and pride

MILITARY DRILLS. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte salutes the participants of the 1st Presidential Silent Drill Competition at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on December 20, 2019. Malacañang photo

'Full-blooded Scout Ranger' Jesus Durante is new PSG commander

Feb 24, 2020 - 7:00 PM

The Davao City-born Army colonel is the erstwhile chief of the Presidential Security Group's Presidential Escorts Battalion, and has master's degrees in defense analysis and development security

CLOSE-IN SECURITY. President Rodrigo Duterte leads the inspection of the troops during the Presidential Security Group (PSG) Change of Command Ceremony at the PSG Compound in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 30, 2018. Malacanññang Photo

2 Abu Sayyaf members killed in Sulu clash with military

Feb 24, 2020 - 10:09 AM

Abu Sayyaf sub-leader Taullah Abdurasa, also known as Amah Ollah, and a certain Baby Ollah are killed in the clash

ARMY SOLDIERS. Philippine Army troopers from the 30th Infantry Battalion at their headquarters in Placer, Surigao del Norte on August 2, 2016. File photo by Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

'Fortunately,' there won’t be pushback from military over VFA – Trillanes

Feb 19, 2020 - 8:10 PM

The former Navy sailor who led two mutinies says the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a professional institution, and will weather the President’s order to repeal the pact with its biggest military ally

FIREBRAND. Former Navy officer and senator Antonio Trillanes IV. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Russia denies envoy’s meeting with PH military chief related to VFA repeal

Feb 19, 2020 - 1:07 PM

Ties between the Philippines and Russia are independent of any third party, says Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev

COURTESY CALL. Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev meets with AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr at Camp Aguinaldo on February 17, 2020. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Tolentino 'advises' AFP to ask for U.S. equipment when VFA ends

Feb 12, 2020 - 5:41 PM

'Baka naman makahingi tayo ng p'wede nating gamitin,' says Senator Francis Tolentino as 'advice' to new AFP chief Felimon Santos Jr

New AFP chief Felimon Santos Jr: PH can 'move on without VFA'

Feb 12, 2020 - 3:19 PM

(UPDATED) New military chief Felimon Santos Jr says the termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement will not be a loss to the Philippines

VFA. Newly confirmed AFP Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos says the Philippines can live without the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United State. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Military members disagree with VFA termination – senior officers

Feb 11, 2020 - 8:21 PM

Scrapping the key military pact with the US is disadvantageous to the Armed Forces of the Philippines, say two senior military officers who spoke on condition of anonymity

END OF AN ERA? A Filipino marine and his American counterpart watch a US Osprey fly by during a joint military exercise in Ternate, Cavite, in October 2019. Photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

What will happen to PH military if the VFA is terminated?

Feb 11, 2020 - 4:04 PM

Can joint military exercises with American troops continue without the Visiting Forces Agreement? At the very least, mounting them would become a lot more difficult.

TREATY ALLIES. Philippine and US military troops during a ceremony to open their yearly Balikatan joint exercises. Photo by Ritchie Tongo/EPA

Doctor abducted in Jolo, Sulu – military

Feb 05, 2020 - 12:19 AM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Mindanao Command says pursuit operations are underway to rescue the victim

New Navy chief wants 'modern systems, mindsets' as new assets replace ailing ships

Feb 03, 2020 - 10:49 PM

Modernizing sailors' and marines' mindsets may be a bigger challenge than acquiring new ships and weapons, Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo says as he assumes command of the Philippine Navy

MODERN NAVY. Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command, called for a thorough modernization of the service during the change-of-command ceremony in Manila on February 3, 2020. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

Philippine Navy mints first female commodore

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:06 PM

Commodore Luzviminda Camacho is also the first woman to command a Navy ship, and the first female commander of Philippine peacekeepers deployed with the United Nations

LADY COMMODORE. Luzviminda Camacho makes history as the first female commodore of the Philippine Navy. Photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines

Negros killings: Senate panels recommend probe of cops, army, vigilante group

Jan 28, 2020 - 7:30 AM

‘No one was spared — men, women, and children suffered at the hands of lawless armed men,’ says the report

STOP THE KILLINGS. A human chain and candlelight protest is staged by rights groups in Quezon City to condemn the violence in Negros province. File photo by Maria Tan/Rappler

New Eastern Mindanao military commander vows strong push vs communist rebels

Jan 26, 2020 - 2:21 PM

'We will break them hard,' Major General Jose Faustino says of his plans in battling communist rebels in the region

CHANGE OF COMMAND. Major General Jose Faustino (left) and Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr (center) on January 25, 2020. Photo from OPAPP

Antonio Parlade Jr is new Southern Luzon military commander

Jan 17, 2020 - 5:33 PM

The Army general is a known anti-communist hardliner

NEW SOLCOM COMMANDER. Major General Antonio Parlade Jr is the new commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Southern Luzon Command. He is known for his hardline stance against communist rebels. Photo from Parlade's Twitter page

Military deploys trucks, disaster teams to assist Southern Tagalog residents

Jan 12, 2020 - 11:32 PM

All military units in Luzon are on red alert as residents brace for the possible 'hazardous eruption' of Taal Volcano in Batangas

RED ALERT. Situation in Talisay, Batangas where residents take shelter in the municipal hall late Sunday, January 12, 2020. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

'Domestic spat' behind Camp Aguinaldo grenade blast – AFP

Jan 12, 2020 - 3:03 PM

The soldier's wife and their 11-year-old son sustain shrapnel wounds from the blast

GRENADE BLAST. A grenade blast reportedly due to a domestic altercation happens inside the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Rappler file photo

No more bodyguards from military: DND issues implementing rules of Duterte order

Jan 10, 2020 - 6:05 PM

Members of the Armed Forces can no longer be assigned to the security detail of civilian officials, except the President, the Vice President, and their immediate families

WITH THE MILITARY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with military officers and other government officials. File photo from Albert Alacain/Presidential Photo

LOOK: 'A Soldier's Heart' cast pays courtesy call to Army chief

Jan 10, 2020 - 3:10 PM

Gerald Anderson, Sue Ramirez, Elmo Magalona, Nash Aguas, and Yves Flores visit Fort Bonifacio

COURTESY CALL. The cast of 'A Soldier's Heart' visit Fort Bonifacio to meet army officials, including Army chief Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay. Photo from the Philippine Army

Military to send ships, planes to evacuate Filipinos from Iraq 'ASAP'

Jan 08, 2020 - 3:40 PM

Army and Marine troops will be deployed to secure and assist Filipinos to be repatriated from Iraq, says Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chats with Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Senator Bong Go and military and police officers during the closing ceremony of the National Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Summit and the 1st Presidential Silent Drill Competition at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila on December 20, 2019. Malacañang photo

Military to resume offensives vs NPA as holiday ceasefire lapses

Jan 07, 2020 - 7:11 PM

The military, the defense chief, and the national security adviser all caution against reviving peace talks with communist rebels, saying it’s a ruse to buy guerrillas time to regroup

OFFENSIVES RESUME. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it would resume operations against the communist New People's Army after a holiday ceasefire lapses on January 8, 2020. File photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

Military ‘intensifies’ intel on terror groups amid Iran-U.S. crisis

Jan 06, 2020 - 2:30 PM

The military says it is looking out for the security of US and Iranian citizens in the Philippines

MONITORING. The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it has intensified intelligence gathering on groups that might launch sympathy attacks in the wake of the killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani. File photo by Lito Borras/Rappler

AFP ‘ready to deploy anytime’ to evacuate Filipinos in Middle East

Jan 06, 2020 - 12:55 PM

In case violence escalates in the region, the Philippine military says it will deploy aircraft and vessels to take Filipinos out of Iran and Iraq

EMERGENCY MEETING. President Rodrigo Duterte summoned security officials on Sunday, January 5, to discuss the security situation in the Middle East. Photo from Alfred Frias/Presidential Photo

Duterte to AFP: Be ready to evacuate Filipinos if Middle East tensions rise

Jan 05, 2020 - 8:50 PM

There are 1,600 and 6,000 Filipinos in Iran and Iraq, respectively

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte convenes with officials from the security sector at the Malacañan Palace on January 5, 2020. During the meeting, the President discussed security matters regarding the country's contingency measures to ensure the safety of Filipinos based in the Middle East amid the potential tension between the United States and Iran. He also ordered concerned agencies to prepare for any eventualities and possible impact on the country. ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

No mention of West Philippine Sea in new military chief’s speech

Jan 04, 2020 - 10:17 PM

Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr praises President Duterte’s ‘localized peace talks’ with communist guerrilla fronts, and vows to focus military efforts on stamping out the rebellion

NEW AFP CHIEF. Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr was installed as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines on January 4, 2020. Screengrab from RTVM

Quickie generals: The military's revolving door needs to be shut

Jan 04, 2020 - 8:34 AM

(UPDATED) Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says the AFP ‘could have done better’ if its top commanders served for at least 3 years, instead of the usual one year or less

LOOK UP. Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, President Rodrigo Duterte, and General Noel Clement watching a drone show during the Armed Forces of the Philippines' 84th founding anniversary ceremony on December 17, 2019. Photo by Richard Madelo/Presidential Photo

Veteran intelligence officer Felimon Santos Jr is new military chief

Jan 02, 2020 - 11:16 AM

(UPDATED) Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr is currently the chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City

NEW MILITARY CHIEF. Lieutenant General Felimon Santos Jr, a veteran intelligence officer, will replace General Noel Clement as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army

Communists rebuke military: Ceasefire attacks initiated by gov't troops

Dec 25, 2019 - 9:26 AM

'These were defensive actions by the NPA units involved in the face of armed attacks and sustained military operations by the AFP and the PNP,' says NDFP negotiating panel chairman Fidel Agcaoili

DEFENSIVE MODE ONLY. The New Peoples Army claims that the supposed attacks on government troops during the holiday ceasefire were defensive moves only to the sustained military and police operations against them. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

AFP accuses communist rebels of violating Christmas truce

Dec 23, 2019 - 6:40 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 'They demand for peace but their actions speak otherwise,' says Armed Forces of the Philippines Central Command chief Major General Roberto Ancan on the first day of a 16-day ceasefire

At least 12 injured in Cotabato City grenade attack

Dec 22, 2019 - 7:30 PM

(3rd UPDATE) 8 are soldiers and 4 are civilians, says Western Mindanao Command spokesman Major Arvin Encinas

2 Indonesians rescued from Abu Sayyaf

Dec 22, 2019 - 12:59 PM

Troops are trying to rescue one more Indonesian who remains in captivity

Following Duterte, AFP to perform silent drills in public

Dec 21, 2019 - 4:07 PM

The Armed Forces of the Philippines complies with President Rodrigo Duterte's order, which came after he was 'inspired' by the Chinese military drawing out crowds for its drills

EXHIBITION. PMA cadets will be pulled in to perform silent drills. PMA file photo

Will PH military be China's unwitting accessory to data breach?

Dec 21, 2019 - 3:10 PM

Experts say Dito Telecommunity can allow China to mine data of Filipinos, and the Philippine military would be helping it by letting the telco build cell sites in its camps and bases

'Inspired by China,' Duterte orders daily military drills for Rizal

Dec 20, 2019 - 5:50 PM

'I was inspired when I went to China because every sundown, they have a drill,' Duterte says before military and police officers

FOR RIZAL. President Duterte says he was inspired by military drills in China. Malacañang file photo

Military report confirms spying risks in deal with China-backed telco

Dec 20, 2019 - 2:36 PM

The China-backed telco’s equipment can indeed be used to spy on the military, says the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ own risk analysis of the ‘co-location’ deal

Sr. Patricia Fox defends fellow missionary charged with perjury

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:19 PM

The Australian nun insists Sister Elenita Belardo is innocent, and has done nothing but advocate Lumad children's right to receive an education, and better lives for peasants

DEPORTED MISSIONARY. After helping Filipino peasants for 27 years, Australian nun Patricia Fox was deported by the Philippine government in November 2018 for supposedly engaging in political activities. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

Families displaced by Maguindanao clashes cry for help

Dec 10, 2019 - 11:06 PM

Traumatized by the sound of bombs and guns, at least 2,000 families caught in the battle between terrorists and the military are staying in makeshift booths in open spaces, a Moro community leader tells Rappler

DRIVEN OUT. Skirmishes between the military and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters including the pro-ISIS Abu Torayfie Group in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, over the past week have driven some 800 families to flee their homes and stay in makeshift booths. Photo sourced by Rappler

4 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu clash

Dec 08, 2019 - 1:44 PM

A government soldier was also killed in the encounter with members of the ISIS-affiliated faction of the terror group blamed for suicide attacks earlier this year

New Army chief Gapay officially takes command of ‘growing’ force

Dec 06, 2019 - 9:49 PM

Gapay’s marching orders from President Rodrigo Duterte is to end the communist insurgency and for that, the Army will be recruiting 20,000 new soldiers

NEW ARMY CHIEF. Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay formally takes over as commanding general of the Philippine Army on December 6, 2019. Photo from the Philippine Army

Southern Luzon commander is new Army chief

Dec 04, 2019 - 2:29 PM

(UPDATED) Lieutenant General Gilbert Gapay will take the reins of the Philippine Army on December 6, upon the retirement of Lieutenant General Macairog Alberto

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Duterte: Military to handle next international event after SEA Games woes

Nov 28, 2019 - 8:32 PM

The military are ‘better organizers’ because they think ‘structurally,’ says President Duterte, who has often relied on the Armed Forces when confronted by controversies

CALLING THE CAVALRY. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over the 42nd Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañang Palace on October 11, 2019. Malacañang Photo

NPA leader ‘Ka Diego' arrested in San Juan City

Nov 26, 2019 - 6:15 PM

The communist party condemns the arrest of Jaime Padilla, a leader of the rebel group’s guerrillas in Southern Luzon

KA DIEGO. New People's Army (NPA) leader Jaime 'Ka Diego' Padilla (left) was arrested at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City on November 25, 2019. File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

Kidnapped couple Allan and Wilma Hyrons rescued from Abu Sayyaf

Nov 25, 2019 - 10:46 AM

(UPDATED) Three days of clashes between the military and the bandit group leads to the rescue of the couple, who were kidnapped in Zamboanga del Sur on October 4

RESCUED. Kidnapped couple Allan and Wilma Hyrons photographed after their rescue from their captors, the Abu Sayyaf Group, in Sulu. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Army 11th Infantry Division

6 Abu Sayyaf bandits killed in Sulu clashes – military

Nov 25, 2019 - 9:44 AM

Among the casualties is a leading suspect in kidnappings in Tawi-Tawi and Sabah, the military says

ARMY TROOPS clashed with the Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu over the weekend, killing 6 bandits and wounding several others. File photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

PH Army gives up 2 meals to build homes for Mindanao quake victims

Nov 16, 2019 - 8:00 AM

Each soldier gives P100 – their allowance for two meals – to buy land and materials for 100 temporary houses

TEMPORARY HOME. Members of the Philippine Army give up two meal allowances to shore up funds to buy a lot and build 'Kobe-type' shelters for earthquake victims in Mindanao. Photo from the Philippine Army

Military seeks dialogue after lawmakers slammed crackdown on progressive groups

Nov 15, 2019 - 6:35 PM

The military deny that they are cracking down on progressive groups, whom they call 'communist terrorists' and whose offices they have raided in recent weeks

WHAT CRACKDOWN? Military Spokesperson Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo invites supporters of progressive groups to discuss what he says are the threats they pose to democracy. File photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

DND to reconsider AFP deal with China-backed telco after Senate review

Nov 13, 2019 - 7:10 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana says they will 'think thrice, even 4 times,' after senators raised serious security concerns over Dito Telecommunity's plan to build cell sites within military properties

SECURITY RISKS. Senator Francis Pangilinan (right) and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (left) tackled the security risks from the military's cell sites deal with a China-backed telco during a plenary hearing on the 2020 budget of the Department of National Defense on November 13, 2019. Photo from the Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan

6 soldiers killed, 20 wounded in Eastern Samar clash with communist rebels

Nov 12, 2019 - 2:23 PM

Improvised bomb blasts meet Philippine Army soldiers acting on a tip that NPA rebels were harassing communities in the outskirts of Borongan City

Lorenzana not inclined to recommend Mindanao martial law extension

Nov 11, 2019 - 1:29 PM

The defense chief says he is waiting for the military and police to give their input, and President Duterte will still have the final say on the matter

DEFENSE CHIEF Delfin Lorenzana doesn't feel the need to put Mindanao under martial law for another year. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler